The Waved Albatross – The Largest Bird in Galapagos Islands

Espanola Island is the southeastern island of the Galapagos archipelago and is a favorite nesting place for many sea birds. The island lies in the path of the South Equatorial current. So, the surrounding waters are cool.

The island is home to the waved albatross, or the Phoebastria irrorata. Each year, at the end of March, this species of albatross returns to the island to nest and lay eggs. The bird lives on the island right till the end of December to ensure that its chicks are healthy enough to migrate in winter. The Espanola Island is home to approximately 34,000 waved albatrosses.

The surrounding cliffs of the island are perfect for the bird to take off when it wants to scour the ocean for food. The waved albatross builds its nest inland, and then walks to the cliffs before flying. The sight is just too magnificent to miss just like when the bird takes off from the surface of the water with its wingspan of 2 meters, or 6.6 feet. It looks as if the waved albatross is walking on water while flapping its wings hard before actually taking off.

So, if you want to have a look at these magnificent birds, make sure you time your trip to the Galapagos Islands between April and December. In April, you can see the courtship between the male and female, with the eggs being laid in May. The eggs hatch in July, and the chicks learn to fly in September and October. And, by late December, the parents and the chicks are ready to leave the island.

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